Should the Bible Continue to Be Used for Swearing-in Ceremonies and in Courtrooms?
It seems odd in a country where the separation of state and church is prescribed in the very Constitution, which cemented the first modern democracy into existence, there exists a tradition of swearing on a Christian Bible to uphold the virtues of that law. Then again, there are many religious references found throughout the political domain which would appear to violate the American democratic edict that our government shall support no religion. The temptation to simply except these indulges as historic and traditional must not be blindly pursued as this Nation has a past rich with discriminatory practices that have favored one group and disenfranchised many others. Furthermore, religious politicians often have a tendency of slipping such new symbols into our traditions and history then claiming they have always existed.
On the other hand, no nation should erase its history and where no harmful presidencies exist, tradition can remain. Historically, all governments have appealed to artistic expression and passionate pursuits to inspire their people. As for the practice of using the Bible to swear in individuals as they take an oath to provide their complete and honest testimony or service, the Bible is simply a reference used to appeal to the person's highest sense of being so they will further be driven to uphold the law. However, because of the government's need to separate itself from religious conviction, a person should be given the option to pledge their loyalty with the most treasured document of their faith; as for the person who chooses not swear to any God, there could be no document more appropriate than the US Constitution.
Above all, issues like this one really require a very close look to determine if such practices are actually discriminating against groups, or even individuals, as most of the people in the US can relate very closely to the Christian faith as a large number of Americans are Christian in one form or another. This makes it difficult to determine if such a practice is discriminatory. Therefore, the practice of using the Bible in public testimony or public swearing in ceremonies is one that does need closely scrutinized, but the practice does not necessarily need to be banned. A single adaptation may be enough to correct any wrong doing.